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Down with Fees

2 September 2005

Down with Fees: We need a free public education system NOW!"

The onslaught of neo-liberalism has brought about a commericalised and marketised public education system that is being increasingly dominated by business, and their interests. New Zealand does not have a fully funded public education system. This is wrong.

Tertiary students have faced fee increases since user-pays was implemented in 1990, less and less students receive a living allowance while studying, and student loan debt continues to climb. Many students, at both the secondary and tertiary level, are being forced to work while they study - largely in low paid and un-unionised work during unsociable hours.

The public education system, at both the school and tertiary levels, is increasingly reliant on privately sourced funds. Direct parental contributions are expected to top $220 million this year, through such contributions as school fees. Since 1987, over 900 private training establishments have been created, with 234 of these currently receiving a total of $264 million in government subsidies. Government funding to the private education sector continues to increase.

To fully fund a public education system is not a question of affordability. It is about political will. The speakers at the forum will analyse the current situation and present clear arguments as to why we need a fully funded public education system at all levels, including how to pay for it. There will be ample time for questions and discussion. A light afternoon tea will follow.


- John Minto

Chair of the Quality Public Education Coalition and teacher at a secondary school in South Auckland. John is a well known activist for social justice.

- Kane O'Connell

Alliance Party education spokesperson and Wellington Central Alliance Candidate, former teacher and university tutor, and currently an education researcher.

Sunday 4th September, 2pm

Crossways Community Centre

cnr Brougham & Elizabeth Streets, Mt Victoria, Wellington

The Wellington People's Forum is organised by the Wellington Alliance Party


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